New Zealand stun South Africa to reach World Cup semifinal
 
Last updated on Mar 25, 2011
MIRPUR: In the biggest upset of the World Cup, New Zealand knocked out strong contenders South Africa with a stunning 49-run victory to storm into the semifinals on Friday.

Tipped as one of the favourites this time around, South African middle-order crumbled while chasing a modest 222 win as they were all out for 172 in 43.2 overs at the Sher-e-Bangla stadium.

The coveted trophy thus continues to elude South Africa, which has now failed to win a match in the knockout stage of the World Cup for the fifth time in a row.

South Africa produced a disciplined bowling effort to restrict New Zealand to a modest 221/8 after being asked to bowl but the total proved too much for them.

Jesse Ryder (83) and Ross Taylor (43) saved New Zealand blushes with a crucial 114-run stand for the third wicket and later Kane Williamson (38) played a good hand towards the end to help the Kiwis put something on board for a fight.

New Zealand then showed a lot of heart in defending the small total with both spinners and pacers bowling exceptionally well under pressure.

Nathan McCullum, who started the proceedings for New Zealand with his off-spinners and struck in the very first over, starred with three wickets, including that of key batsmen Hashim Amla and JP Duminy. He gave away just 24 runs.

Oram (4/39) though was pick of the bowlers while Tim Southee (1/44) took the crucial wicket of Jacques Kallis (47).

Faf du Plessis (36) gave the Kiwis a scare with his gritty knock towards the end but it was New Zealand's day out there in the end.

New Zealand will take on the winner of Saturday's match between England and Sri Lanka, in the semifinal on Tuesday in Colombo.

Kallis at one stage was steering his side comfortably towards the target but once he was dismissed, South African batting collapsed dramatically.

They lost the last eight wickets for just 64 runs and the slide started when Kallis was caught by Jacob Oram near the deep mid-wicket boundary off Southee.

South Africa's chase also started in a bizarre dismissal of in-form Hashim Amla.

A confident looking Amla got out in a freak fashion as an under-edge off Nathan thudded on the foot of stumper Bredon and flew towards first slip Daniel Vettori, who accepted the catch with glee.

Kallis joined his skipper Smith at the wicket and he did the bulk of the scoring initially as he hit Vettori and first change bowler Tim Southee for three boundaries.

Smith was not fluent with his stroke-making but was ticking the board with ones and twos. He hit Jacob Oram for a cover boundary to raise his side's 50 in exactly 10 overs.

With no success coming, Vettori introduced spinner Luke Woodcock but Smith welcomed him with another cover boundary.

As Smith was gradually getting into his elements, Oram cut short his stay at the crease by having him caught at point with substitute Jamie How being the fielder. Smith raised 61 runs with Kallis for the second wicket.

Kallis and AB de Villiers (35) kept South Africa in hunt with their 39 run partnership but Kallis dismissal changed the complexion of the game.

Nathan bowled Duminy and de Villiers was run out in a matter of the three deliveries.

Oram dismissed Johan Botha (2) and Robin Peterson (0) in successive overs and New Zealand did not let South Africa make a comeback after that.

Earlier, Morne Morkel (3/46) was the pick of the South African bowlers while Dale Steyn (2/42) and Pakistan-born leg-spinner Imran Tahir (2/32) snared two wickets apiece to stop the Kiwis way behind the 250-run mark.

For Kiwis, Ryder starred with the bat with a gritty 83 off 121 balls during which he struck just eight boundaries. He added a vital 114 runs with Taylor for the third wicket to help the Kiwis recover after they were reduced to 16/2 at one stage.

Towards the end, Williamson came up with crucial 41-ball 38-run knock to take New Zealand beyond the 200-run mark.

It was not an ideal start for New Zealand after winning the toss as they lost both their openers -- Brendon McCullum and Martin Guptill cheaply inside the first six overs.

McCullum was the first to depart, brilliantly caught by Peterson off his own bowling in the third over and then two overs later Guptill gave a simple catch to Botha at mid-off after he was foxed by a Dale Steyn slower delivery.

With their side looking down the barrel at 16/2 after six overs, Ryder and Taylor rose to the occasion and stitched the crucial 114-run stand that came off 162 balls to steady New Zealand's rocking ship.

Regarded as hard-hitters, both Ryder and Taylor curbed their natural instinct and played sensibly with ones and twos with occasional boundaries in between to resurrect the Kiwi innings.

Ryder seemed determined for a big score as he played a controlled innings to notch up his half-century in 70 balls.

But three quick wickets in a span of 26 runs, including that of Taylor and Ryder, shattered the Kiwi innings, which during middle of the innings looked well in course for a 250-plus score when the two set batsmen were at the crease.

Taylor, after a sedate start, opened up with slog-sweep six off Peterson. But in search of one too many he perished in the next over when he was holed out by Kallis at the square-leg boundary off Tahir to drew curtains on the dangerous-looking partnership.

And then Scot Styris (16) and Ryder followed suit in consecutive overs to put brakes on New Zealand's scoring.

While Styris played on to a Morne Morkel delivery in the 37th over, Tahir got the big wicket of Ryder as he mis-hit one to substitute Colin Ingram.

Williamson and Nathan then shared 32 runs for the sixth wicket before the latter was caught by Duminy off Steyn.

Willamson, however, kept the New Zealand scoreboard ticking even as Morkel cleaned up Jacob Oram and captain Daniel Vettori in the 49th over.

Largely riding on Williamson's willow, New Zealand scored 47 runs in the last six overs, which included 37 runs of the batting power-play.

New Zealand took the batting power-play in the 44th over and scored 37 runs off the five overs for the loss of three wickets.


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